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Leveraging YouTube to cultivate an audience

Video search has been huge for a decade now. YouTube is the #3 search engine, Google being #1. Yes, that’s right, video search is massive. From “how-to” instructionals to cat videos, people crave that visual interaction. If you’re not already on YouTube, I encourage you to be. Even if it’s as simple as a sermon weekly, even bi-weekly can gain you an audience. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows and you’ll have to work at it. If you’re a developing church, it may be something to put on the wishlist for a later date. There are many pros and few cons to having a YouTube channel.

Cons

  • YouTube has an open comment format, meaning you cannot erase all the negative comments or hate speech. (“all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”)
  • Quality is key. This is not so much a con, but you may need to purchase something more than a webcam to do your sermons. (“Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service?”)

Pros

  • Spreading the good news! (“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”)
  • Interaction with a global audience that is hungry for your message.(“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another”)
  • Practice preaching and writing and test sermons out on your viewers(“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”)
  • Increase website traffic.(“And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.”)
  • Your message can reach members of your congregation that are sick or on vacation. (“A joyful heart is good medicine”)
  • Maximize your writing time. If you’ve spent 14 hours preparing a sermon, put it out there for millions.
  • Place the videos on your site as a preview for visitors or those new to town.

There is a low learning curve for YouTube and there are many communities and tricks out there to help you gain more views and higher SEO. Expand beyond brick and mortar into the digital world.

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